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AIA Announces 2009 Award Winners

December 11, 2008

By Anya Kaplan-Seem

The American Institute of Architects today announced that Clyde Porter, FAIA, will receive its 2009 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. Barbara Nadel, FAIA, will be honored with the 2009 Edward C. Kemper Award for Service to the Profession. The association’s Twenty-Five Year Award for 2009 will go to Faneuil Hall in Boston by Benjamin Thompson & Associates.

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The Whitney M. Young Jr. Award is given each year to an architect or organization “exemplifying the profession’s responsibility toward current social issues.” Both in his present position as the vice chancellor of facilities for the Dallas County Community College District and as former chief architect of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency, Porter has championed female- and minority-run firms, and sought to ensure that minority and low-income students have the educational opportunities and encouragement they need to pursue careers in architecture. Winning this award “means that all of my work to try to be inclusive has paid off,” says Porter. “It’s all about doing what’s right for the betterment of all people.”

Kemper Award recipient Nadel has served in many capacities at the AIA, including as the national vice president in 2001. Much of her work has focused on outreach and public advocacy both in local communities and on Capitol Hill. Advocacy efforts are vital, she says, because architects “have a unique ability to articulate the issues that are important to the built environment and that will benefit communities.” As chair of the 21st Century Embassy Task Force, she is currently involved in promoting design excellence and security in American buildings abroad. “This is probably among the most important aspects of AIA service I’ve done over my years,” says Nadel, “because it has the potential to promote the best of contemporary American art and architecture around the world.”

The AIA’s Twenty-Five Year Award “recognizes an architectural design that has stood the test of time.” Completed in 1978, Benjamin Thompson & Associates’ Faneuil Hall Marketplace was an adaptive reuse project that revitalized one of Boston’s most notable landmarks. The project created a vibrant urban forum that for 30 years has remained an important gathering place and commercial center. Philip Loheed, AIA, principal of Benjamin Thompson & Associates, believes his firm’s redesign was so successful because it created “a primary place of public hospitality. Everyone feels free to go there,” he says, “and they do.”

Award recipients will be honored at the Architectural Foundation’s “Accent on Architecture” gala and at the 2009 AIA national convention.

On December 4, the AIA announced the recipients of three additional awards: the 2009 Gold Medal, 2009 Firm of the Year, and 2009 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. Read about the winners

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